Last week marked a momentous occasion for our little sari blanket business! I created & posted an internship position for our business. All spring and summer, I’ve felt this same feeling pressed upon me: You need help. Expand the tribe. Get others involved. Supplement your weaknesses. Don’t try to do it all on your own.
Finally, I was ready for more people around here, I was ready to let go of some things, I was ready to take charge as a leader that can fearlessly captain this ship!
So, I posted it on my personal facebook page, as a start. Then I received a text message from my friend who owns a flower shop:
Huh. Yes. *Excellent* questions. I’m thinking perhaps I should have asked these questionsbefore posting it. Who’s in charge around here, anyways? Doesn’t anyone know what they’re doing?! [because other similar businesses in the USA run robust unpaid internship programs, I had not considered local, Canadian rules]
A couple of weeks ago, I attended the Yellow Conference, which was a group of 300 women “creatives” (bloggers, photographers, graphic designers, interior designers, etc.) working with a greater purpose. It sounds kind of pretentious, but maybe that’s what I am because it was a whole room of other women just like me!
Anyhow, one of the workshop leaders, Becky Simpson, said something that really resounded with me. She said that at points well along in her self-employment, she still felt like an impostor. “I was too far in to admit: I didn’t know what I was doing!” At least, she felt like she was too far in. Shame & embarrassment ruled; “how can I ask for help now?” she worried.
Hearing that was a huge relief to me. Other people also don't know what they're doing? Fortunately, shame & embarrassment don't get too much in my way. Pride, though... I can be too proud to ask for help or to admit need or failure. But, Becky's admission emboldened me; I was ready! The great irony is that when I finally embraced it and stepped out to ask for help, it completely revealed how much I don’t know!
When I started out, I knew very little about saris, blankets, kantha, importing, business... I’ve learned heaps since starting dignify and have a lot of wisdom to share, but I have NOT got it all figured out, friends. I often still feel like “I don’t know what I’m doing.”
Whether an entrepreneur, a shopper, a mom, a manager… don’t we all feel like this? Or is it just me?
My husband was dropping off our parcels recently, and a woman working in our shipper's office said, "I was looking at your site, and I think I might buy some of these blankets this year as gifts; I'm mostly shopping online." Another employee chimed in, "I'm going to do all of my shopping online, too."
That evening, he went with our kids to the mall to pick something up (masked, natch), and as he surveyed the hallways — with some permanently closed stores, some shuttered from lack of employees, etc. — Wayne's thought was, "I think I need to do all my shopping at the mall!"
Recently, dignify received a review on our blankets that addressed the variety of our styles (color/pattern), and the contrast/matching choices that go into our kantha. Let's take a glimpse behind-the-scenes at the number of factors that contribute to these decisions.
How do we choose the fabric? How do we match saris to create the kantha blankets? Why are some combinations bad? Why aren’t there more grey/buttery yellow/navy blue color combos?
I know that many of you have wondered about these questions from time to time, too!
This week, I posted on my personal Facebook page about Amazon's Prime Day, with some stats that bothered me.
A thoughtful friend commented with honesty,
"Could you share some more of your insights about Amazon. I don’t disagree that their model is terrible but I also haven’t been convinced enough to forgo the crazy convenience of it.
Help convince me!"
Here is the response I posted.